Lionel Messi’s Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in Copa America final this Saturday to secure the Argentina’s first title in 28 years and Messi’s first major international trophy.
Argentina’s winning goal at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro was scored by Angel di Maria receiving a long pass from Rodrigo de Paul at the 22nd minute. The PSG forward chipped the ball into the net over the Brazilian goal-keeper Ederson. Neymar tried hard with dribbles and passes, but was no match for Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who won best Goalkeeper of the tournament.
The team line-up for Argentina and Brazil were,
Argentina XI: Damian Martinez, Otamendi, Acuna, Montiel, Romero, De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso, Messi, Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez
Brazil XI: Ederson, Thiago Silva, Danilo, Marquinhos, Renan Lodi, Casemiro, Fred, Everton, Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Neymar
It was a match which was tipped to be a battle between Brazil’s Neymar and Argentina’s Messi but both men did not have a significant impact on the game. Messi came on the brink of scoring in the later stages of the second half, but failed to get on to the score sheet.
Neymar tried his best but he was constantly fouled and tackled by Argentina midfielders and defenders. it had been a troublesome physical battle in the midfield.
Roberto Firmino’s introduction in the second half gave power to Brazil’s attack and they created a great deal of chances. Gabi had a couple of shots but were saved by Argentine goal-keeper Martinez.
Messi and De Paul, both, had an opportunity to seal the match late in the second half but Brazil survived and kept fighting.
The final whistle saw Messi fall down on his knees with tears in his eyes as his teammates rushed to him to celebrate a much awaited win.
Lionel Messi had lost three Copa America finals before this along with the 2014 FIFA World Cup final and the victory finally gives the talismanic footballer his first major trophy with the senior team.
Messi, arguably the greatest footballer of this generation alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, now has a continental title under his belt just like the Portuguese, who had lifted the Euro 2016 trophy.
At the end, all players who won Best player, Top Goal Scorer, Best Goal-keeper, were from the Argentina team; Lionel Messi winning the former two and Emiliano Martínez winning the latter. Ángel di María won Man of the Match.